Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Getting the farm: How an innovative effort is supporting artisanal agriculture in central Missouri

Getting the farm: How an innovative effort is supporting artisanal agriculture in central Missouri
Noah Earle, left, and Steve Landers share a common passion: farming

Noah Earle, left, and Steve Landers share a common passion: farming. Steve Landers raises grass-fed cattle and is planning to leave his land to Noah Earle, a farmer, musician and grocery buyer for Clovers Natural Market who also runs his own, smaller operation in Boone County.

For 13 years, Steve Landers of Centralia has been perfecting 72 acres of grass. Now, at age 74, he’s preparing to give it away.

We’re not talking lawns, or the kind of grass at the center of the debate over cannabis legalization. Landers’ masterpiece is a piece of land perfect for raising cattle. Raising grass-fed beef is a complex process, with precise ratios of acres of land to heads of cattle. It took Landers about a decade to get the right proportion.

After a few consecutive days of rain, Steve Landers installs an electric fence

After a few consecutive days of rain, Steve Landers installs an electric fence May 21 in preparation of moving his steers to a new field near his home. Landers, a 74-year-old Air Force vet, settled in mid-Missouri with a dream of starting a farm.

Steve Landers, left, and Noah Earle stop to discuss progress of the project

After more than two hours of clearing overgrown brush, Steve Landers, left, and Noah Earle stop June 2 to discuss progress of the project on Landers’ property. “That’s all you did?” Landers said with a smile.

A steer stops walking while being moved from one field to another

A steer stops walking while being moved from one field to another.

Landers uses the land to run his sustainable, grass-fed beef operation

Known as the Covered-L Farm, Steve Landers uses the land to run his sustainable, grass-fed beef operation on the property near Centralia.

Steve Landers, right, speaks with Noah Earle

After transferring his steers from one field to another, Steve Landers, right, speaks with Noah Earle on May 21 near Landers’ property. Moving the cattle took the pair longer than they anticipated.

Noah Earle bends to reattach the chain on his chainsaw

Noah Earle bends to reattach the chain on his chainsaw before continuing to clear heavy overgrowth June 2. Earle works as a farmer, musician and grocery buyer for Clovers Natural Market while also running his own cattle operation.

Noah Earle takes a break from clearing brush to wash out his dust-filled eye

Noah Earle takes a break from clearing brush to wash out his dust-filled eye June 2. Earle came to Missouri and began working with Steve Landers, the owner of the property, after traveling to the Los Angeles area as a songwriter and performer.

  • Reporter at the Columbia Missourian. (He/Him). Reach me jacobmoscovitch@mail.missouri.edu.

Recommended for you